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malala speaks out/up


February 2013
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it is people like malala yousufzai who make me pause to believe that change can come; that nothing is destined to be one way despite it being like that for generations.

it is people like malala who prevents me from writing that part of the “world” off entirely; ‘world’ meaning not only geography but race and gender.

she holds an enormous presence for change in places where girls and women are shrouded in darkness.

malala is ALSO proof solid that not all muslims are terrorists; that not all muslims support radical movements.

or, as amir khan says quite eloquently in a you tube video i saw recently “fundamentalists do not have religion.”

interesting to note that when france banned the hijab in 2004 officially numerous alarmist and aggressive speeches on prime time TV turned veiled young muslim girls into agents of ‘islamic fundamentalism’ ; ‘anti-intellectualism’; or even ‘green fascism’.

in france -and elsewhere -this piece of cloth – the veil – became a symbol of oppression and the instrument of that oppression, too. the public debate shifted from the sphere of public education, evading attendant questions of social stigma, humiliation and marginalization in the school system, and became a vague disembodied debate about headscarf and islamic fundamentalism.

many people, like the french, cloak/veil themselves in ignorance thinking and blaming islam for all the ills of their /the world, while others have found a prayer to their islamophobia in 9/11.

but they neglect to comprehend and rationalize that the destruction of the twin towers was carried out by fundamentalists – not the likes of people like malala, who inspire, not promote any fundamentalism.

ban guns and phobias, not hijabs! de/un-veiling a hijab has not solved france’s problem yet!



  1. Surekha says:

    Hard to believe that a 14 year old girl in the Swat region of Pakistan , which is such an underdeveloped and harsh place for girls and women, can have so much wisdom, but also so much courage in the face of terror . she should be an inspiration to us all.

  2. and we, so fortunate here to have freedom of speech and the right to be, sometimes take it for granted and don’t see such miracle survivals as milestones. i am so happy you see it for what it is: an inspiration.

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